Teamster Talk #7: Arcing toward justice
Quote of the month: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.



A message from your Secretary-Treasurer, Tracey A. Thompson

Brothers and Sisters:

On January 18, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As Americans, we all recognize the extraordinary contributions Dr. King made to the advancement of civil rights in this country. King organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott, led a groundbreaking march on Washington, and paved the way for the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964.

Dr. King was also a champion of organized labor. In 1961 King stated, “In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights.” King recognized that the fight for civil rights was inextricably bound to issues of social and economic justice.

In April 1968, King went to Memphis to lend his support to city sanitation workers who were striking in protest of low wages and poor working conditions. King not only worked tirelessly for an end to racial discrimination, segregation and Jim Crow laws, but he also worked to improve conditions for workers and to end poverty.

Teamsters Local 117 will be honoring the legacy of Dr. King by participating in the annual MLK March and Rally in Seattle. This year’s rally starts at Garfield High School at 11am. Members of Local 117 will be meeting at the Union hall in Tukwila to carpool to the event. I invite you to join us as we celebrate the achievements of Dr. King and continue our efforts to expand the rights, wages and benefits of all working families.

In Solidarity,

Tracey A. Thompson

PS: Submit your questions about your Union as a part of my Ask Tracey column in Teamster Talk. To send me a question, click here.

Teamsters unite for beverage bargaining
"It's important for all of us to stick together." - John Sharp, Local 117 member at Coke
Teamsters from across the region have joined forces in a united multi-Local campaign to achieve strong collective bargaining agreements for working families in the beverage industry. Since early January, Teamsters from Locals in Everett, Port Angeles, Olympia, Tacoma, and Tukwila have filled their respective Union halls to state their priorities in bargaining and map out a coordinated strategy.

“It’s important for all of us to stick together, especially in this economy,” said Local 117 member John Sharp, a 15-year Teamster mechanic at the Coca Cola bottling plant in Bellevue. Said Chris Pringle, a longtime Local 174 Shop Steward at Coke, “The advantage to multi-Local bargaining is that if there is a labor dispute, we have the ability take out all of Western Washington.” Read more.

Consortium director dubbed "Scrooge of the year"
An employer of Teamster Local 117 members in Tacoma has won the South Sound Jobs with Justice “Scrooge of the Year” award. The organization’s dubious honor goes each year to an employer who has demonstrated a particularly egregious disdain for workers’ rights.

Linda Nguyen, Director of the Tacoma Pierce County Employment and Training Consortium, earned the unenviable distinction for conducting a vicious Union busting campaign against Teamsters Local 117 that led to the unlawful layoff of four Consortium employees. Read more.

Upgrade to Teamsters medical is a win for members, Pierce County
Teamsters Local 117 members at Pierce County have voted overwhelmingly to switch to a Teamsters Health and Welfare plan, a move that provides members with better medical coverage in the form of comparable care with lower deductibles and co-payments at a reduced cost to the County.

“I’m so thankful that the Union was able to negotiate with Pierce County and make the change to the Washington Teamsters Welfare Trust,” said County employee Becky Little. “Our medical coverage is better than ever and our members saved a minimum of $600 per year, and I was able to save $2,000 on medical premiums for 2010.” All told, the switchover will save Teamsters over $430,000 in 2010.

If other represented employees switch to the Teamsters medical plan, it will save nearly all represented employees an estimated $1.9 million on their health care premiums. Read more.

DOC news: MICC and LCC form lobbying teams
Teamsters Local 117 members from McNeil Island Corrections Center (MICC) and Larch Corrections Center (LCC) are forming teams to lobby the Washington State legislature in the wake of the Governor’s budget proposal recommending unit closures at both facilities.

The teams are a part of a broader political action plan to boost the presence of Local 117 members in Olympia. For more information contact the groups at MICC and LCC or if you would like to get involved, contact Teamsters Local 117 Government Relations Coordinator Anna Jancewicz at 206-441-4860.

January 2010

Mark your calendars!
Jan. 18 - MLK Day march
Mar. 5 - DOC Stewards' Seminar
Mar. 6 - Shop Stewards' seminar

MLK Day march
Teamsters Local 117 will be will honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Seattle’s annual MLK Day March and Rally. Rally starts at 11am; march at 12pm from Garfield High School to the Federal Building in downtown Seattle.

Local 117 members will meet at the Teamsters Building at 10am to carpool to the event. If you would like to attend, please contact Cetris Tucker 1263 at 206-441-4860 ext.1256 for more information.

Shop Stewards' seminar
The annual Shop Stewards' seminar will take place from 8:30am to 2:00pm on March 6, 2010 at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle.

If you are a Shop Steward, you will be receiving an invitation and a packet of information in the mail. The theme for this year's seminar is collective bargaining. If you have questions, talk to your Business Representative.


* Teamster Talk: News from Teamsters Local 117 *

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Mailing address:
14675 Interurban Ave. S., Suite 307, Tukwila, WA 98168

206.441.4860 * toll free 1.888.872.3498

Copyright (C) 2010 * Teamsters Local 117 * All rights reserved.
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